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Canadian Social Research Newsletter
February 24, 2008

Welcome to the weekly Canadian Social Research Newsletter,
a listing of the new links added to the Canadian Social Research Links website in the past week.

The e-mail version of this week's issue of the newsletter is going out to 1863 subscribers.

Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to see some notes and a disclaimer.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Canadian content

1. Federal Budget 2008 : February 26
2. Removing Barriers to Work: Flexible Employment Options for People with Disabilities in BC (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) - February 22
3. Stagnant Wages [British Columbia] (StrategicThoughts.com) - February 23
4. Ontario pushing for Employment Insurance reform in Feb. 26 federal budget (The Toronto Star) - February 23
5. New members appointed to the National Council of Welfare - February 2008
6. Still Left behind : A Comparison of Living Costs and Income Assistance in British Columbia (Social Planning and Research Council - Vancouver) - February 20
7. Ontario Child Benefit starts paying out in July 2008 --- but will Ontario's foster children get left behind? (Toronto Star) - February 22
8. British Columbia Budget 2008 - February 19
9. Castonguay Task force urges more private health care in Quebec - February 19
10. Tax Expenditures and Evaluations 2007 (Department of Finance Canada) - February 19
11.
What's New from Statistics Canada:
--- Study : Hourly earnings, 1997 to 2007
- February 22
--- Study : RRSP investments, 2005 - February 22
--- Public sector employment, Fourth quarter 2007 - February 22
---
Study : Chronic pain in Canadian seniors, 1996/1997 and 2005 - February 21
--- Study : Health information and the Internet, 2005 - February 21
--- Study : How families respond to layoffs, 1987 to 2001 - February 21
--- Leading indicators, January 2008
- February 20
--- Consumer Price Index, January 2008
- February 19
--- Impact of neighbourhood income on child obesity, 1994 to 2002 - February 18
12. Human Resources and Social Development Canada Public Consultations
13. Canada Pension Plan Annual Report, 2006-2007 (Human Resources and Social Development Canada) - tabled December 10, 2007
14. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (Toronto) - February 22

International content

15. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
16. Bill Gates at Harvard Commencement - June 2007
17. Australian Policy Online Weekly Briefing - Selected recent content
--- Year Book Australia, 2008 - Posted 21-02-2008
--- Strengthening Aboriginal family functioning: What works and why? - Posted 21-02-2008
--- Prevention and early intervention in strengthening families and relationships: Challenges and implications - Posted 21-02-2008
--- What are low ability workers to do when unskilled jobs disappear? Part 2: Expanding low-skilled employment - Posted 19-02-2008

18. CRINMAIL 958, 959 - February 2008 (Child Rights Information Network - CRIN)

Have a great week!

Gilles Séguin
Canadian Social Research Links

http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net

E-mail:
gilseg@rogers.com

1. Federal Budget 2008 : February 26

From the Department of Finance Canada:

(Federal) Budget 2008
Shortly after the 2008 budget is tabled on February 26, 2008, at approximately 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), all budget documents will be available free of charge on this site.
- includes links to earlier federal budgets back to 1994

Related links:

From the CBC:

Federal budget to come down Feb. 26
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will deliver his third federal budget on Feb. 26, he announced Monday.
Given the minority status of the Conservative government, it could be his last.

Related Web/News/Blog links:

Google Search Results Links - always current results!
Using the following search terms (without the quote marks):
"Canada, 2008 Federal Budget "
- Web search results page
- News search results page
- Blog Search Results page
Source:
Google.ca

- Go to the Canadian Government 2008 Budgets Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets.htm
NOTE: the link above takes you to the 2008 budgets page (69 links).
The table at the top of that page provides links to the latest government budget in each jurisdiction;
these links will be updated as federal, provincial and territorial budgets are tabled during the next few months.

2. Removing Barriers to Work: Flexible Employment Options for People with Disabilities in BC - February 22
(Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

Make work possible for more people with significant disabilities: study
Press Release
February 22, 2008
(Vancouver) People living with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and serious conditions such as MS often find themselves in a catch-22 - unable to take on full-time year-round employment, but willing and able to work with the right supports and flexibility. A study released today urges the provincial government to adopt a series of creative recommendations that would make employment possible for many more British Columbians with significant disabilities. "Current income assistance policies often discourage rather than encourage people with disabilities to work," says Michael Goldberg, co-author of Removing Barriers to Work: Flexible Employment Options for People with Disabilities in BC and a research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Removing Barriers to Work:
Flexible Employment Options for People with Disabilities in BC

By Marcy Cohen, Michael Goldberg, Nick Istvanffy,
Tim Stainton, Adrienne Wasik and Karen-Marie Woods
Complete report (PDF file - 1.3MB, 65 pages)
Summary (PDF file, 1.4MB, 25 pages)

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

- Go to the Non-Governmental Sites in British Columbia (A-C) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/bcbkmrk2.htm
- Go to the Disability Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/disbkmrk.htm

3. Stagnant Wages (British Columbia) - February 23
(StrategicThoughts.com)

Stagnant Wages
February 23, 2008
The February 2008 edition of Statistics Canada's Perspectives on Labour and Income contains an article titled "Earnings in the last decade". It analyses average hourly earnings between 1997 and 2007. The results are not what the Campbell government usually spins. The Statistics Canada study found that in constant 2002 dollars the national increase in real wages was 6% over the decade, but it was only 3% in BC. What is more shocking is the study's finding that the average real wage of managers in BC increased by 15% over the decade while the real wages of other workers showed virtually no change.
Source:
StrategicThoughts.com

Jan/Feb '08 articles from StrategicThoughts.com - PLUS a link to earlier articles at the bottom of the page

- Go to the Non-Governmental Sites in British Columbia (D-W) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/bcbkmrk3.htm

4. Ontario pushing for Employment Insurance reform in Feb. 26 federal budget - February 23
(The Toronto Star)

From The Toronto Star:

McGuinty wants equal EI pay for Ontario workers
Says unemployed are being short-changed $1.7B and wants Ottawa to address discrepancy in budget
February 23, 2008
By Laurie Monsebraaten
Premier Dalton McGuinty wants the federal government to use next Tuesday's budget to fix a problem that is keeping $1.7 billion out of the hands of Ontario unemployed workers. But the chances are it won't happen, despite a $50 billion surplus in the Employment Insurance program. McGuinty has been vociferous in complaining about how Ontario's unemployed workers are treated differently than those in other provinces.

Ontarians hope budget will spark EI reform
But despite pressure from McGuinty, Flaherty unlikely to act on uneven benefit payments
February 23, 2008
By Les Whittington
OTTAWA–Ontarians facing the threat of a recession will keep a nervous eye on Tuesday's federal budget to see if the Conservatives will deal with an Employment Insurance program that leaves the province's jobless lagging far behind other Canadians.

- Go to the Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (D-W) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onbkmrk3.htm

5. New members appointed to the National Council of Welfare - February 2008

What's new from the National Council of Welfare:

New members appointed to
the National Council of Welfare
February 2008
This is the list of the new members of the National Council of Welfare,
whose appointments were announced in two separate news releases on February 1 and February 20:

- Rev. Larry Gregan of Manitoba
- Mr. David S. Pankratz of Manitoba
- Colonel Glen Shepherd of Quebec
- Mr. Calvin D. Helin of British Columbia
- Ms. Brenda Hall of the Northwest Territories
- Mr. John Guyon Richards of British Columbia*
- Mr. Mark Chamberlain of Ontario
- Ms. Mildred A. Dover of Prince Edward Island
- Reverend Richard Bragdon of New Brunswick
- Mr. Zulfikarali R. Kassamali of Ontario
Sources:
Feb. 1/08 news release
Feb. 20/08 news release

*NOTE:
Yes, that is the same John Richards who wrote the commentary entitled Reducing Poverty: What has Worked, and What Should Come Next (PDF file , 592K, 32 pages) , released by the right-of-centre C.D. Howe Institute in October of 2007. In this commentary, Mr. Richards points to the “tough love” welfare reforms of Ralph Klein in Alberta and Mike Harris in Ontario during the early- to mid-1990s as the desirable path to follow in the rest of Canada.

I disagree fundamentally with the tough-love spur-of-poverty approach to welfare reform, and
so does Andrew Jackson of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Sounds like somebody's putting the fox in charge of the henhouse -- this should make for some lively discussion and debate in National Council of Welfare meetings...

- Go to the Social Research Organizations (I) in Canada page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/research.htm

6. Still Left behind : A Comparison of Living Costs and Income Assistance in British Columbia - February 20
(Social Planning and Research Council - Vancouver)

New from the Social Planning and Research Council (SPARC - Vancouver):

Still Left behind : A Comparison of
Living Costs and Income Assistance in British Columbia
By Jill Atkey and Rebecca Siggner
February 2008
A comparison of Living Costs and Employment Assistance Rates in British Columbia. Report findings indicate that families and individuals receiving income assistance from the province of B.C. are not able to meet their minimal monthly living costs.

New report shows
BC welfare recipients still left behind
(Word file - 44K, 2 pages)
News Release
February 20, 2008
The BC Liberals increases to income assistance in 2007 have had little effect in improving the lives of welfare recipients in British Columbia, who struggle daily to meet basic needs says a report released today by SPARC BC (Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia). With little in the 2008 BC Budget for poverty reduction, BC welfare recipients are still left behind. The report, entitled Still Left Behind, compares BC Employment and Assistance rates for individuals and families eligible for “temporary assistance” with the minimum monthly cost of the goods and services required for daily living.

Download the
complete report
(PDF file - 676K, 63 pages)

Still Left Behind Fact Sheet (PDF file - 190K, 2 pages)

About SPARC BC Fact Sheet (PDF file - 52K, 2 pages)

SPARC Resources & Publications

Source:
Social Planning and Research Council (SPARC)
Founded in 1966, the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia is a non-partisan, independent charitable organization that draws its members and Board of Directors from across the province. SPARC BC conducts public education, research, and advocacy on priority issues, particularly in the areas of income security, accessibility, and community development.

- Go to the Non-Governmental Sites in British Columbia (D-W) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/bcbkmrk3.htm

7. Ontario Child Benefit starts paying out in July 2008 --- but will Ontario's foster children get left behind? - February 20
(Toronto Star)

From the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services:

Making It A Little Easier For Low-Income Ontario Families
File Your Income Tax Return To Qualify For New Monthly Ontario Child Benefit
News Release
February 22, 2008
LONDON - Low-income families will begin receiving the new monthly Ontario Child Benefit in July 2008 - but they need to file their income taxes first. The Ontario Child Benefit will provide $100 a month to a family with two children under 18 and income of $20,000. For that same family, this amount will grow to about $180 a month in July 2011 when the benefit is fully implemented. Families earning more than $20,000 may also be eligible, based on the number of children.

Related links:

Ontario Child Benefit (OCB)
In July 2007, eligible families received a one-time down payment of up to $250 for each dependent child under 18. Beginning in July 2008, the Ontario Child Benefit will be delivered to eligible families each month. In July 2008, about 460,000 families will receive a monthly Ontario Child Benefit payment of up to $600 per child annually. When the program is fully implemented in 2011, more than 600,000 low-income families will receive up to $1,100 per child annually.

Ontario Child Benefit Calculator - from the Ontario Ministry of Finance
New Ontario Child Benefit - from the 2007 Ontario Budget (March 22/07)
OCB Backgrounder - from the 2007 Ontario Budget

Non-government related links:

Foster children left behind, NDP charges
February 20, 2008
By Tanya Talaga
News that 20,000 Ontario foster children were left out of an anti-poverty plan proves how flawed Premier Dalton McGuinty’s child benefit program is, the province’s NDP leader says. In 2003, McGuinty promised he would end a clawback of the national child benefit supplement, which takes about $1,500 a year out of the pockets of families on welfare and disability support, Howard Hampton charged yesterday. However, parents who receive Ontario disability support or Ontario Works payments are still having the national child benefit deducted from those cheques, Hampton said.
Source:
The Toronto Star

McGuinty forgets vulnerable kids
February 18, 2008
NDP Children and Youth Services critic Andrea Horwath slammed Dalton McGuinty for once again failing Ontario’s poor and most vulnerable by forgetting to include foster children in his child benefit program.
Source:
Ontario NDP website

- Go to the Ontario Government Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onbkmrk.htm
- Go to the Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (D-W) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onbkmrk3.htm

8. British Columbia Budget 2008 - February 19

British Columbia Budget 2008
Budget home page, includes links to all budget papers, backgrounders, the Government's Fiscal Plan and Strategic Plan, along with Ministry and Crown Agency Service Plans and Estimates of proposed spending by ministry and government agency for the coming fiscal year.

Budget 2008 : Greener Future, Stronger Economy
News Release
February 19, 2008
VICTORIA — wide range of new measures to address climate change, promote greener choices, and encourage economic investment will allow British Columbia to meet the challenges of the future, Finance Minister Carole Taylor announced with the release of Balanced Budget 2008.

Budget Highlights
HTML
PDF
(1.6MB)

Budget Speech
HTML
PDF
(218K)

Budget Backgrounders
[ scroll to the bottom half of the page for links to the following backgrounders: ]
• Fiscal Plan 2008/09-2010/11
• B.C.’s Revenue-neutral Carbon Tax
• $1 Billion for Climate Action
• Investing in B.C.’s Economic Competitiveness
• Illustrations of Tax Impacts 2009

Ministry and Crown Agency Service Plans for 2008/2009 to 2010/2011
".. provides an overview of every ministry and Crown agency, including how they intend to achieve their service goals and how they support the direction laid out in the Government Strategic Plan."
- recommended reading if you want to know what each of the ministries is planning for the next three years.
Here (below) are service plans for the ministries responsible for welfare and children's services in British Columbia (follow the service plans link to access other ministries' service plans).

Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance
Service Plan, 2008/2009 to 2010/2011
(ministry responsible for welfare)
HTML
(the table of contents is in the left margin of the page)
PDF
(404K, 32 pages)

Additional Information from the
Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance
(PDF file - 268K, 14 pages)
The following resources support the Ministry’s 2008/09 – 2010/11 Service Plan.
Appendix 1: Services Map
Appendix 2: Service Code and Organizational Values
Appendix 3: Service Standards
Appendix 4: Glossary of Terms
Appendix 5: What Benefits Do Clients Retain When They Leave Income Assistance For Work?
NOTE: if you're interested in the "welfare wall" effect (i.e., the loss of non-cash benefits such as supplementary health and dental benefits when someone leaves welfare for a job), I highly recommend this appendix.
Appendix 6: Performance Measure Methodologies

Ministry of Children and Family Development
Service Plan, 2008/2009 to 2010/2011
HTML
(the table of contents is in the left margin of the page)
PDF
(315K, 26 pages)

* Previous Years' Budgets
* Previous Years' Service Plans
* Previous Years' Service Plan Reports

Photo Gallery for
the Carole Taylor Fan Club
- Special!

Related Web/News/Blog links:

Google Search Results Links - always current results!
Using the following search terms (without the quote marks):
"2008 British Columbia Budget"
Web search results page
News search results page
Blog Search Results page
Source:
Google.ca

'Landmark' Green Budget, with Some Brown Spots
Winners: Banks, oil, roads. Losers: Schools, wild salmon.
By Andrew MacLeod
February 20, 2008

Finance Minister Carole Taylor's new Fluevogs were green, her dress was green and the budget documents she presented in Victoria were wrapped in green covers. The theme, in Taylor's words, was clear: "We promised you green and today we delivered green." It is, however, worth taking a closer look. The budget delivered the expected carbon tax, a move applauded by several environmentalists, but there is plenty of brown in the background. And the budget does little to address chronic underfunding in several areas, making B.C. less sustainable.
Source:
The Tyee

- Go to the BC Government Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/bcbkmrk.htm
- Go to the Canadian Government Budgets Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets.htm

9. Castonguay Task force urges more private health care in Quebec - February 19

From the CBC:

Task force urges more private health care in Quebec
February 19, 2008
A provincial task force is recommending health-care user fees and greater privatization to guarantee the viability of medical care in Quebec.The task force, headed by former Liberal cabinet minister Claude Castonguay, calls for a shakeup of principles guiding medical care in Quebec to control spiralling costs.

Quebec report raises union private health-care fears
February 18, 2008
Quebec's largest labour federation is worried an impending report on health-care financing will clear the way for two-tiered care, allowing private services at the expense of the public system.
TIP: this page contains links to three more articles, under "Related".

More media coverage of the Castonguay report (from Google.ca)

From the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE):

Shelve Castonguay, support medicare
February 20, 2008
A Québec government-sponsored report calling for radical privatization of the health care system came out this week just as the federal government proved once again that they're not willing to enforce their own laws on public health care. The Castonguay report's recommendations read like a laundry list for privatized health care.

Related links:

* Castonguay Report and recommendations
* Tabling of the Report Getting Our Money’s Worth (PDF file - 120K, 4 pages)
News Release - February 19, 2008
Source:
Task Force on the Funding of the Health Care System (QC Government)

-----------------

Français:

En avoir pour notre argent : Rapport du
Groupe de travail sur le financement du système de santé

- liens vers le rapport complet et la synthèse

Dépôt du rapport En avoir pour notre argent (fichier PDF - 124Ko, 4 pages)
Communiqué, le 19 février 2008
Source:
Groupe de travail sur le financement du système de santé

Le rapport Castonguay sur le financement du système de santé québécois
- liens médiatiques de Google.ca

-----------------

- Go to the Québec Links (English) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/qce.htm
- Rendez-vous à la page de liens de recherche sociale au Québec: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/qcbkmrk.htm

10. Tax Expenditures and Evaluations 2007 - February 19
(Department of Finance Canada)

Government of Canada Releases Annual Tax Expenditures and Evaluations Report
News Release
February 19, 2008
The Department of Finance today released its annual Tax Expenditures and Evaluations report. The report provides estimates and projections of the revenue impacts of all special federal tax measures designed to support the economic and social priorities of the Government. The revenue estimates and projections in the report reflect all tax changes announced to date

Related document:

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations 2007
HTML version

PDF version (361K, 51 pages)
Table of Contents:
Preface
Part 1—Tax Expenditures: Estimates and Projections
* Introduction
* Caveats
* What’s New in the 2007 Report
* The Tax Expenditures
*** Table 1—Personal Income Tax Expenditures
*** Table 2—Corporate Income Tax Expenditures
*** Table 3—Goods and Services Tax Expenditures
Part 2—Research Report
* Corporate Income Taxes and Investment:
* Evidence From the 2001–2004 Rate Reductions

Source:
Department of Finance Canada

- Go to the Federal Government Department Links (Agriculture to Finance) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/fedbkmrk.htm

11. What's New from Statistics Canada:
--- Study : Hourly earnings, 1997 to 2007
- February 22
--- Study : RRSP investments, 2005 - February 22
--- Public sector employment, Fourth quarter 2007 - February 22
---
Study : Chronic pain in Canadian seniors, 1996/1997 and 2005 - February 21
--- Study : Health information and the Internet, 2005
--- Study : How families respond to layoffs, 1987 to 2001
--- Leading indicators, January 2008
- February 20
--- Consumer Price Index, January 2008
- February 19
--- Impact of neighbourhood income on child obesity, 1994 to 2002 - February 18

What's New from The Daily [Statistics Canada]:

February 22, 2008
Study: Hourly earnings, 1997 to 2007
Hourly earnings of managers, as well as those of professionals employed in business, finance and computer and information systems, increased faster than those of any other occupational groups during the past 10 years, according to a new study. On the other hand, blue-collar workers in manufacturing, clerical employees and salespeople in retail trade saw virtually no growth in earnings.
* Highlights
* Full article:
HTML
PDF
(162K, 13 pages)

February 22, 2008
Study: RRSP investments, 2005
Overall, 6 out of every 10 families in Canada held savings in registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) in 2005, and these plans had a median value of $25,000, according to a new study. The study, published today in the February 2008 issue of Perspectives on Labour and Income, showed that, as expected, the prevalence of families with RRSPs and the value of the plans both increased with age.
* Highlights
* Full article:
HTML
PDF
(149K, 7 pages)

Source for both articles above:
Perspectives on Labour and Income
[ browse earlier issues back to 1989 by subject ]

February 22, 2008
Public sector employment, Fourth quarter 2007 (preliminary)
Public sector employment reached nearly 3.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, a gain of 2.5%, or 81,000, from the same quarter in 2006. It has been steadily increasing since 2000 after years of decline throughout the 1990s. Public sector employment comprises all levels of general government, universities, colleges, school boards, health and social service institutions and government business enterprises.

February 21, 2008
Study: Chronic pain in Canadian seniors, 1996/1997 and 2005
Chronic pain affects more than one-quarter of seniors living in households and close to 4 out of every 10 seniors in institutions, and it can have a profound impact on their quality of life, according to a new study.
Chronic pain in Canadian seniors
by Pamela L. Ramage-Morin
Abstract
Findings

February 21, 2008
Study: Health information and the Internet, 2005
More than one-third of Canadian adults, over half of them women, used the Internet to search for health information in 2005, according to a new study. Among those who also visited a doctor, more than one-third discussed the results of their Internet search with their physician. The study, "Getting a second opinion: Health information and the Internet," examines adults' use of the Internet to access health information in 2005.

February 21, 2008
Study: How families respond to layoffs, 1987 to 2001
Married women in at least some Canadian families were able to adjust to their husband's layoff by increasing their own employment income during the 1990s, a new study suggests.The study, published today in the Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series, assessed whether the earnings of wives and teenagers increased in response to layoffs experienced by husbands between 1987 and 2001.
Executive summary
Complete study paper
(PDF file - 438K, 37 pages)

February 20, 2008
Leading indicators, January 2008
The composite index rose by 0.2% in January, after December was revised up to no change from November. The upturn was broadly based, with 5 of the 10 components rising, versus only 2 in December. Household spending remained the strongest sector of the economy, more than offsetting the sharp drop in the stock market at the start of 2008.

February 19, 2008
Consumer Price Index, January 2008
Consumer prices increased 2.2% during the 12-month period leading up to January 2008. The core index grew 1.4%, extending a decelerating pattern that began in July 2007.

February 18, 2008
Study: Impact of neighbourhood
income on child obesity, 1994 to 2002

Related link:

Effects of neighbourhood income on reported body mass index:
an eight year longitudinal study of Canadian children
By Lisa N. Oliver and Michael V. Hayes
Published: 14 January 2008
Abstract
Complete article
(PDF file - 19K, 20 pages)
"(...) These findings provide evidence that effects of neighbourhood disadvantage on children's Body Mass Index occur between childhood and early adolescence and suggest that policies should target the conditions of childhood, including the neighbourhood environment."
Source:
BioMed Central
Publisher of 186 peer-reviewed open access journals

- Go to the Federal Government Department Links (Fisheries and Oceans to Veterans Affairs) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/fedbkmrk2.htm

12. Human Resources and Social Development Canada Public Consultations

Human Resources and Social Development Canada Public Consultations Website
"
Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) is committed to consulting with Canadians on the issues that affect their daily lives. Through consultations, the department gains a greater understanding of the perspectives of a wide range of citizens, stakeholders and experts and therefore develops better, more informed and more effective policies and programs for Canadians.
Your opinion matters (bolding added). We invite you to visit this site regularly to learn more about our consultation activities and how you can get involved."

Consultations in progress:
* Canada Student Loans Program Online Consultation
(Not exactly "in progress" - the consultation ran from September 7 to 28, 2007. Today is February 24, 2008)

Public Consultations Reports:
* Creation of Child Care Spaces (summer 2006)
(this is the second element of the Universal Child Care Plan, which also includes the Universal Child Care Benefit.)
* Post Secondary Education and Training Online Consultation
(summer 2006)

Source:
Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC)

Related Links:

For a list of consultations currently underway in other federal departments, please visit the
Government of Canada’s Consulting with Canadians website
* Consultations in progress

<begin rant>

HEY, HRSDC - QUIT DELETING CONTENT FROM YOUR SITE!

If my opinion matters, as per the intro to your consultations website, at least you could have the decency to leave links to completed consultations on your website.
In the spring of 2005, Social Development Canada (as HRSDC was known at that time) launched a public consultations website [ http://sdc-dsc.dialoguecircles.com/ ].
During the course of that summer and fall, SDC also launched three separate consultations (see below) - for persons with disabilities, seniors and caregivers.
All three consultations have vanished from the HRSDC website. You can't even find them using the HRSDC site search.
I understand that (a) the consultation period is long past, (b) that Steve Harper's Tories (Canada's Old New Government) took over the reigns of power early in 2006, and (c) that new governments like to build new websites.
Oh wait - never mind.
That explains it : New Government, new website, dump the old stuff, eh...

Internet Archive to the rescue!
Click the link in the previous line, then copy and paste this URL [ http://sdc-dsc.dialoguecircles.com ] into the box called "The Wayback Machine" in the centre of the page.
The results page is a collection of a dozen links to snapshots of the complete SDC consultations website; the latest link (Feb. 2007) appears below.

Here's a link to the (HR)SDC Public Consultation site
as it existed in February of 2007

Click the link above; on the next page that appears, click the links in left-hand margin of the page to go to the main consultation page for any one of the three missing consultations.

HINT: the "Resource Area" for each consultation contains links to some excellent related online resources, including: General Documents - Outcome Documents from Roundtables - Information on Government of Canada Programs - Government of Canada Publications - Government of Canada Seniors-Related Web Sites

Persons with Disabilities Consultation Internet Archive version (02/07)
"In a world of 'full participation', persons with disabilities would have equal access to the physical environments in which we work, live and play. Media and information would be equally available to those with sight, hearing, dexterity or mental disabilities..."

Resource Area - Internet Archive version (02/07)

-------------------------

Seniors Consultation - Internet Archive version (02/07)
While Canadian seniors today enjoy more supports and services than ever before, many still face important challenges in areas such as health, financial security, public safety, housing, and social participation. Not surprisingly, the thought of living as a senior holds promise for some, and uncertainty for others. (...)

Resource Area - Internet Archive version (02/07)

--------------------------

Caregivers Consultation - Internet Archive version (02/07)
Across the country, Canadians are caring for members of their families, their neighbours and their friends. Each caregiving situation is unique, and each caregiving relationship is different.

Resource Area - Internet Archive version (02/07)

</end rant>

--------------------------
--------------------------

<begin corollary rant.>

And the HRSDC Site Search Engine STILL sucks.

Don't believe me?
1. Select and copy this text:
Canada Pension Plan Annual Report, 2006-2007
[this report has been on the HRSDC website since January.]
2. Then click the link to the HRSDC website search engine button above and paste your text into the search box.
3. Click the "Search" button at the bottom of the search page.
When I did this search on Feb. 24/08, the results page consisted of 60 links to stuff that has nothing to do with CPP, such as workplace bulletins, calls for applications, disclosures of contracts over $10,000, miscellaneous unrelated stuff, and - oh, yeah, a link to the 1998-99 Canada Pension Plan Annual Report. ONE link out of 60 search results that even mentions CPP --- and it's to a report that's almost ten years old.
Sucks.
If you wish to pursue the experiment, go to the publications page of the group where I worked and try doing a search for any title on that page.
Copy any title and paste it into the search engine box.
Unless someone's fixed the site search feature since February 24/8, I guarantee consistently bad results.
[Almost makes me want to send Marg Princess warrior over to smite you.]
I use Google.ca's free site search feature on my own website, and it works just fine to retrieve my site content.
The Government of Canada should find the resources to offer a decent search engine on its websites.
HINT FOR SOCIAL RESEARCHERS:
Use the Google.ca search engine to find HRSDC reports; it works.

</end corollary rant.>

------------------------------------------------------------------

- Go to the Disability Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/disbkmrk.htm
- Go to the Human Resources and Social Development Canada Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/hrsdc.htm
- Go to the Seniors (Social Research) Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/seniors.htm
- Go to the Work-Life Balance Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/work_life_balance.htm

13. Canada Pension Plan Annual Report, 2006-2007 - tabled December 10, 2007
(Human Resources and Social Development Canada)

Canada Pension Plan Annual Report, 2006-2007
- tabled in the House of Commons on December 10, 2007
[ PDF version - 9.5MB, 52 pages ]

Table of Contents:
* TITLE PAGE
* 2006–07: THE YEAR AT A GLANCE
* THE CANADA PENSION PLAN IN BRIEF
o Meeting the Needs of Canadians
* BENEFITS AND EXPENDITURES
o Retirement Pensions o Disability Benefits o Survivor Benefits o Death Benefits o Other Provisions o The Appeals Process
* ENSURING FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
o Actuarial Reporting o A Fair Approach to Funding o Financing
* FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY
o CPP Account o CPP Assets and Cash Management o CPP Investment Board o CPP Investments o Investing for our Future
* MANAGING THE CPP
o Collecting and Recording Contributions o Overpayment of Benefits o Administrative Costs
* IMPROVED SERVICE DELIVERY - SERVICE CANADA
o Reaching Out to Canadians o Delivering Service o Processing Benefits
* LOOKING TO THE FUTURE - SERVICE CANADA
o Information Technology Renewal Delivery System (ITR-DS) o Online Service Delivery o Simplifying the Application Process

Complete list of HRSDC
Canada Pension Plan Publications

- links to two dozen CPP reports and factsheets
- does not include links to CPP annual reports; for that, try the link below.

Service Canada's
Canada Pension Plan Publications Index

- to access CPP annual reports for fiscal years back to 2000-2001, you'll have to scroll to the bottom of the Service Canada publications page.

Service Canada's OTHER list
of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Publications

<begin rant>

Now this is getting ridiculous.
I know that Service Canada is a new and dynamic government website, but here's a suggestion for the Web team at HRSDC/Service Canada : instead of forcing all your visitors to check three separate lists to find CPP reports, why dontcha assign some nice HRSDC/Service Canada person to merge all three lists and save us all a bit of confusion and frustration? Also, when one of your web pages become obsolete/superseded/stale, delete it and provide a redirect to the new page that replaced it. Should you decide to leave the dead page on your site --- and I know from personal experience that you do that --- then just add a note on the dead page to identify it as archived material and give your visitor a link to newer related material.
And no, I *don't* have a vendetta against the folks at HRSDC/Service Canada.
Like many people, I just get flustered when I try to use their site(s).
Unlike many people, I have a soapbox.

</end rant>

Source:
Canada Pension Plan
[ Human Resources and Social Development Canada ]

- Go to the Human Resources and Social Development Canada Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/hrsdc.htm

14. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (Toronto) - February 22

What's new from the
Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) :

February 22

Stuck in neutral: Manitoba families working harder just to stay in place
22 Feb 08
- Report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives investigates the national trend of economic growth benefiting the richest families in Manitoba.

Can you hear me? The right of young children to participate in decisions affecting them
22 Feb 08
- Report from the Bernard van Leer Foundation discusses children’s participation and how it can be put into practice and measured.

Federal spending power: The key to advancing child care in Canada
22 Feb 08
- Speech from the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada on the use of Canada’s federal spending power to provide quality child care for families.

Child care through the eyes of parents, children and
child care providers: Significant male figure’s perceptions of child care

22 Feb 08
- Briefing paper from the Minnesota Department of Human Services addresses fathers or significant male figures’ perceptions of and involvement in child care.

Why early care and education deserves as
much attention, or more, than prekindergarten alone

22 Feb 08
- Research from Cornell University discusses how a comprehensive approach to ECE policy results in greater economic benefits than policies focused on pre-k alone.

more WHAT'S NEW ONLINE »

child care in the news

· Time to hold back kids in preschool [CA-AB]
21 Feb 08

· Alberta Liberal daycare platform focuses on better pay for workers [CA-AB]
20 Feb 08

· Canada lagging in early education funding [CA-ON]
20 Feb 08

· Kids can’t wait for child care in BC: Action needed, not more studies [CA-BC]
18 Feb 08

· Benefit bypasses foster kids [CA-ON]
18 Feb 08

more CC IN THE NEWS »

Related Links:

Subscribe to the CRRU email announcements list
Sign up to receive email notices of updates and new postings on the CRRU website which will inform you of policy developments in early childhood care and education, new research and resources for policy, newly released CRRU publications, and upcoming events of interest to the child care and broader community.

Links to child care sites in Canada and elsewhere
CRRU Publications
- briefing notes, factsheets, occasional papers and other publications
ISSUE files - theme pages, each filled with contextual information and links to further info

Source:
Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU)

- Go to the Non-Governmental Early Learning and Child Care Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/ecd2.htm

15. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
(
Institute for Research on Poverty - University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Poverty Dispatch (U.S). ===> the content of this link changes twice a week
- links to news items from the American press about poverty, welfare reform, child welfare, education, health, hunger, Medicare and Medicaid, etc.

February 21, 2008
* Food Stamp Application System - Texas
* Child Welfare Oversight - Indiana
* Medicaid Rules and Funding Child Welfare Programs - Oklahoma
* Report: Anti-poverty Programs - New Jersey
* Kids Count Reports - Missouri, West Virginia
* Food Insecurity and Family Nutrition
* Long-term Unemployment
* Juvenile Offenders and Alternative Sentencing
* Higher Education and Trends in Economic Mobility
* States and Spending on Higher Education
* State Health Plans and Covering the Uninsured
* Payday Lending Legislation - South Carolina
* State Minimum Wage - Kansas
* Sales Tax Burden and Low-income Workers - Washington

February 18, 2008
* Food Stamp Program Enrollment - Ohio, Alabama, Virginia
* Participation in Welfare Programs - Ohio, Duluth, MN
* Increased Need for Social Services - Long Island, NY
* Homelessness and Housing First
* Services for Homeless School Children - Florida, Hawaii
* Violence Against the Homeless
* Prisoner Re-entry Programs
* Post-hurricane Emergency Housing - Gulf Coast
* Low-income Students and Access to High-performing Schools - Colorado
* Student Achievement and School Turnarounds - Chicago, IL
* Type of Health Insurance and Cancer Diagnosis

Search Poverty Dispatches
IRP compiles and distributes Poverty Dispatches, links to Web-based news items dealing with poverty, welfare reform, and related topics twice a week. Each Dispatch lists links to current news in popular print media. Persons wishing to receive Poverty Dispatches by e-mail should send a request to rsnell@ssc.wisc.edu.

Past Poverty Dispatches - back to June 2006

Source:
Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP)
[ University of Wisconsin-Madison ]

- Go to the Links to American Government Social Research page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/us.htm
- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (A-J) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/us2.htm
- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (M-Z) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/us3.htm

16. Bill Gates at Harvard Commencement - June 2007

Remarks of Bill Gates
Harvard Commencement
June 7, 2007
“From those to whom much is given, much is expected...
(...) We can make market forces work better for the poor if we can develop a more creative capitalism – if we can stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or at least make a living, serving people who are suffering from the worst inequities. We also can press governments around the world to spend taxpayer money in ways that better reflect the values of the people who pay the taxes. If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world. This task is open-ended. It can never be finished. But a conscious effort to answer this challenge will change the world. (...) I hope you will come back here to Harvard 30 years from now and reflect on what you have done with your talent and your energy. I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the world’s deepest inequities … on how well you treated people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity."
[I can almost hear the cynics out there : "Nothing like $50 billion in the bank to light the road to Damascus." Read the entire commencement address, then visit the Gates Foundation web page. It's pretty compelling stuff.]

Source:
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill and Melinda Gates believe every life has equal value. In 2000, they created the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help reduce inequities in the United States and around the world.

- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (A-J) Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/us2.htm

17. Australian Policy Online Weekly Briefing

APO Weekly Briefing ===> the content of this link changes each week
The content of this page changes each week, and it includes links to a few book/report reviews, about two dozen new reports, a few job ads and 60 events (mostly conferences) of interest to social researchers...
Source:
Australian Policy Online (APO)
With nearly 120 member centres and institutes, Australian Policy Online offers easy access to much of the best Australian social, economic, cultural and political research available online.
NOTE: the APO home page includes links to the five most popular reports on the APO website, and this list is updated each week.

Recent content from the APO Weely Briefing:

Year Book Australia, 2008
Posted 21-02-2008
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Year Book Australia provides a comprehensive statistical picture of the economy and social conditions in Australia. In addition, it contains descriptions of Australia's geography and climate, its population, the environment, government, international relations, defence, education, health, income and and welfare, housing and crime and justice.

Strengthening Aboriginal family functioning: What works and why?
Posted 21-02-2008
Roz Walker and Carrington Shepherd
Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse
Providing insights into the protective effects and risks that influence forms of functioning among Aboriginal families, this paper discusses the factors that support family harmony or contribute to dysfunction.

Prevention and early intervention in strengthening families and relationships: Challenges and implications
Posted 21-02-2008
Elly Robinson and Robyn Parker
Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse
This paper examines challenges and strategies associated with encouraging individuals to engage in prevention and early-intervention activities focusing on healthy relationships.

What are low ability workers to do when unskilled jobs disappear? Part 2: Expanding low-skilled employment
Posted 19-02-2008
Peter Saunders
Centre for Independent Studies
What is to be done for low-skilled, poorly-qualified Australians who, even in today’s booming economy, seem unable or unwilling to find jobs?

APO Archive
The APO archive is grouped into 23 subject areas, with entries appearing in reverse chronological order.
* Ageing *Asia and the pacific * Citizenship and the law * Disability * Economics and trade * Education * Employment and workplace relations * The environment * Foreign policy and defence * Gender and sexuality * Health * Housing * Families and households * Immigration and refugees * Income, poverty and wealth * Indigenous * Media, communications and cultural policy * Politics and government * Population, multiculturalism and ethnicity * Religion and faith * Rural and regional * Science and technology * Social policy * Urban and regional planning * Youth

- Go to the Social Research Links in Other Countries (Non-Government) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/internatngo.htm

18. CRINMAIL 958, 959 - February 2008
(Child Rights Information Network - CRIN)

From the Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)

21 February 2008 - CRINMAIL 959
* CRC Communications Procedure: Lobbying pack [publication]
* DISABILITY: New website for professionals working with disabled children [publication]
* EDUCATION: Fears over child rights education misplaced [news]
* PARTICIPATION: Empowering Young People [publication]
* JUVENILE JUSTICE: Call for research and PhD papers
* EMPLOYMENT - Save the Children Sweden
**NEWS IN BRIEF**
**QUIZ**

19 February 2008 - CRINMAIL 958
* INDIA: Teacher abuse driving children from school, says govt [news]
* COTE D'IVOIRE-GHANA: Efforts too small to curb child labour on cocoa farms [news]
* PHILIPPINES: Judge alarmed over cases vs. minors [news]
* CHILD MORTALITY: Saving Children's Lives - Why Equity Matters [publication]
* UK/INDIA: Realising Children’s Rights: Comparative and Socio-Legal Perspectives [event]
* AFRICAN COMMISSION: 4th Extraordinary Session [event]
**FROM THE FRONTLINE: Qindeel Shujaat** [interview]
**NEWS IN BRIEF**

Earlier issues of CRINMAIL
- links to 200 earlier weekly issues, many of which are special editions focusing on special themes, such as the 45th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Source:
CRINMAIL(incl. subscription info)
[ Child Rights Information Network (CRIN) ]

- Go to the Children's Rights Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/chnrights.htm


Disclaimer/Privacy Statement

Both Canadian Social Research Links (the site) and this Canadian Social Research Newsletter belong solely to me, Gilles Séguin.

I am solely accountable for the choice of links presented therein and for the occasional editorial comment - it's my time, my home computer, my experience, my biases, my Rogers Internet account and my web hosting service.

I administer the mailing list and distribute the weekly newsletter using software on the web server of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
Thanks, CUPE!

If you wish to subscribe to the e-mail version of newsletter, go to the Canadian Social Research Newsletter Online Subscription page:
http://lists.cupe.ca/mailman/listinfo/csrl-news

You can unsubscribe by going to the same page or by sending me an e-mail message [ gilseg@rogers.com ]

------------------------

The e-mail version of this newsletter is available only in plain text (no graphics, no hyperlinks, no fancy bolding or italics, etc.) to avoid security problems with government departments, universities and other networks with firewalls. The text-only version is also friendlier for people using older or lower-end technology.

Privacy Policy:
The Canadian Social Research Newsletter mailing list is not used for any purpose except to distribute each weekly issue.
I promise not share any information on this list, nor to send you any junk mail.

Links presented in the Canadian Social Research Newsletter point to different views about social policy and social programs.
There are some that I don't agree with, so don't get on my case, eh...

To access earlier online HTML issues of the Canadian Social Research Newsletter, go to the Newsletter page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/news.htm

Please feel free to distribute this newsletter as widely as you wish, but please remember to mention Canadian Social Research Links when you do.

Cheers!
Gilles

E-MAIL:
gilseg@rogers.com


**************************************

Ten Useless Body Parts

**************************************

WISDOM TEETH
Early humans had to chew a lot of plants to get enough calories to survive, making another row of molars helpful. Only about 5 percent of the population has a healthy set of these third molars.

MALE UTERUS
A remnant of an undeveloped female reproductive organ hangs off the male prostate gland.

THIRD EYELID
A common ancestor of birds and mammals may have had a membrane for protecting the eye and sweeping out debris. Humans retain only a tiny fold in the inner corner of the eye.

THIRTEENTH RIB
Our closest cousins, chimpanzees and gorillas, have an extra set of ribs. Most of us have 12, but 8 percent of adults have the extras.

COCCYX
These fused vertebrae are all that’s left of the tail that most mammals still use for balance and communication. Our hominid ancestors lost the need for a tail before they began walking upright.

MALE NIPPLES
Lactiferous ducts form well before testosterone causes sex differentiation in a fetus. Men have mammary tissue that can be stimulated to produce milk.

ERECTOR PILI
Bundles of smooth muscle fibers allow animals to puff up their fur for insulation or to intimidate others. Humans retain this ability (goose bumps are the indicator) but have obviously lost most of the fur.

APPENDIX
This narrow, muscular tube attached to the large intestine served as a special area to digest cellulose when the human diet consisted more of plant matter than animal protein. It also produces some white blood cells. Annually, more than 300,000 Americans have an appendectomy.

BODY HAIR
Brows help keep sweat from the eyes, and male facial hair may play a role in sexual selection, but apparently most of the hair left on the human body serves no function.

EXTRINSIC EAR MUSCLES
This trio of muscles most likely made it possible for prehominids to move their ears independently of their heads, as rabbits and dogs do. We still have them, which is why most people can learn to wiggle their ears.

Source:
http://www.bloggingwv.com/20-useless-body-parts-why-do-did-we-need-them/

***************************
And in closing...
***************************

Top Ten Wealthiest People in History
Bill Gates is *only* the 20th richest person in the history of the world.

Source:
Lists of people by wealth
[ Wikipedia ]

-------------------------------

I Poo, You Poo, We All Poo for AirPoo.

Will you poo in an AirPoo??
"Coming Summer 2008!"

- they should actually call this the IPoo - it includes a dock for your IPod, SurroundSound speakers ("Never worry about embarrassingly loud flatulence again!"), a docking slot for your MacBook Air (of course, all of this is high-speed wireless), PLUS digital dual flush and a heated seat!
...and they send you "a mold to record the contour of your backside" that you return to them to use in shaping the seat to your [ahem!] *exact* specifications.

How cool is THAT?

--------------------------------